Red Raiders drive Ferrari to win

  • Nick Bousquet, of Athol High School, takes a cut against Mahar Regional, Monday in Athol. FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

  • Mark Ferrari, of Athol High School, pitches against Mahar Regional, Monday in Athol. FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

  • Jake Berry, of Mahar Regional, pitches against Athol High School, Monday in Athol. FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

  • Dilan Fountain, of Athol High School, bats against Mahar Regional, Monday in Athol. FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

  • The Athol High School baseball team comes together at the mound at the end of a 6-0 win over Mahar Regional, Monday in Athol.  FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

  • Keegan Lutz, of Athol High School, launches a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning against Mahar Regional, Monday in Athol.  FOR THE RECORDER/CADEY SPENCER

Staff Writer
Published: 5/6/2019 8:46:10 PM

ATHOL — The right arm of Mark Ferrari and the bat of Keegan Lutz lifted the Athol High School baseball team to a 6-0 win over crosstown rival Mahar Regional on Monday.

Ferrari had 14 strikeouts in the complete game shutout.

“I had a tough couple starts,” Ferrari said. “But today I painted with the fastball. I had good control with it.”

The first inning was a smooth one, which isn’t always the case with Ferrari.

After getting a strikeout of leadoff hitter Jake Tenney, a couple of nice snares by shortstop Dilan Fountain helped send Ferrari and the Red Raiders (8-2, 2-0 Hampshire East) to the dugout quickly.

“I wanted to start off well,” Ferrari said. “Luckily it happened. He (Fountain) started off great. Our whole team did.”

The offense came from Lutz who launched a three-run homer to left field in the fourth inning.

“It was a fastball inside,”  Lutz said. “As a hitter, it’s always been my kind of spot. I just turned on it and got my hands inside.”

After a rough season at the plate as a freshman, some extra time working on his swing has helped Lutz as a sophomore.

It was Lutz’s first career varsity homer. Lutz added an RBI single in the second inning and finished with four RBI. 

“Getting in the cages early on in the winter,” Lutz said. “Just having more confidence. Last year I was really scared.  I’ve just come in swinging the bat hard especially with all the coaching from Josh (Talbot) and Matt (Talbot).”

Before the game against Mahar, Lutz was hitless in the last two outings.

“We talked before the game,” Athol coach Josh Talbot said. “He was locked in and ready to go.”

The Red Raiders played error-free baseball behind Ferrari.

“We haven’t scratched the surface of a great baseball game yet,” Talbot said. “But Mark (Ferrari) was as good as he has been this year.”

Mahar (4-5, 0-2) got a strong start from Jake Berry, but three errors in the second inning helped the Red Raiders score three runs.

“That’ s kind of been our downfall recently,” Mahar coach Art Billings said. “We get ourselves into holes and it’s tough for us to battle back.”

Berry had 10 strikeouts and gave up seven hits.

In the top of the second, the Senators had a chance to take the lead with runners at second and third. But Ferrari struck out three straight batters to end the inning.

“We miss those timely hits,” Billings said. “A couple of times we had guys on base and couldn't get that extra hit to put some pressure on them.”

Mahar only had two hits on the day, a single from Andrew Herk and a double by Will Peredina.

“He was keeping us off balance and hitting his spots,” Billings said. “Very impressed. He pitched very well.”

In the bottom of the second inning Evan Mayer singled before two errors by the Senators loaded the bases. A wild pitch and another error gave Athol the 2-0 lead before Lutz’s RBI single. 

With two outs in the fourth, Fountain drew a walk before Nick Bousquet’s single brought Lutz to the plate.

With a swing of the bat the Red Raiders had a 6-0 lead.

Fountain went 2-for-3 for Athol with a walk and a stolen base.

Athol 6, Mahar 0

Mahar ..................... 000 000 0 — 0  2  3

Athol ......................  030 300 x — 6  7  0

Hits: (M) Peredina, Herk. (A) Lutz 2, Mayer, Fountain 2, Bousquet.

2B: (M) Peredina

HR: (A) Lutz

RBI: (A) Lutz, 4

SB: (M) Herk, Dodge, Tenney (A) Fountain.

WP: Ferrari (7 ip, 14 k, 4 bb).

LP:  Berry ( 6 ip,10 k, 3 bb).

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